In honor of the Sunday of Orthodoxy, our church, St. Seraphim’s OCA Cathedral held a hierarchal liturgy during which our Archbishop Dmitri was joined by both Metropolitan Isaiah of the Greek diocese along with Bishop Basil of the Antiochan Diocese. Anyone who knows anything about Orthodoxy knows that this is a tremendous and precious example of unity and goodwill.
Jesse and I had been waiting for this Sunday for a long time, ever since it was announced when Ben was visiting. In preparation, Jesse and I met with Father John and then went to Vespers. It was also my night to go to confession (yes Courtney, I am a bad person no longer;), and since I haven’t gone to Father John yet I was a little nervous. But it turned out to be wonderful- one of the most uplifting confessions and experiences of my life. It’s true that confession makes your feet feel light as a feather for a good 24 hrs.
Anyways, I feel that it prepared me well for Divine Liturgy this Sunday morning. Jesse got me there (notice, I never say this the other way around when talking about getting somewhere, EVER) at around 8:45, and, since we did the liturgy of St. Basil, this meant that we were standing STRAIGHT for 3 hrs. Yeah. St. Seraphim doesn’t even sit down for the homily!
But it was totally worth it. Even though we are now accustomed to them, I still love hierarchal liturgies (different tunes and practices are done). I almost always tear up around the middle of the service when the deacons and priests and Archbishop Dmitri are proceeding into the altar, singing together responsively with the choir. Today was even more moving, as he was walking with Bishop Basil and Metropolitan Isaiah. Not only were they making history, but it was fellowship at its finest. It’s almost too profound for me to even grasp well enough to explain.
Since it’s hard to explain unless you are there, I took a video of it. Of course you can’t see them, seeing as all 30+ of them are around the altar and the choir is behind a screen on the left and right, but it might help you get the idea.
This next one is all of them being announced by Father John. As we sing to them, you can actually hear this adorable little girl who stands in the front row every week, praying and singing her heart out. It’s a shame she sings horribly off key:) I’ve watched many times as her parents try very hard to keep straight faces in order not to dampen her zealous child-like spirit.
I also took a fun little video of St. Seraphim’s interior. It’s not great, but you might get the idea.
Last but not least, we were also able to take a picture with Bishop Basil. It turns out that Jesse’s uncle, a priest in Wichita, is very close friends with Bishop Basil. In fact, Bishop Basil already knew who we were!!
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